The New Testament For Everyone – Bible Review

New Testament For Everyone

The New Testament For Everyone – A Fresh Translation By N. T. Wright

As you think about the year ahead, you are probably thinking about what you will be reading in the Bible this year. A great place to start is by reading through the New Testament in its entirety. The New Testament teaches us about Jesus through the four gospels, the church, and how we are to live our lives as Christians. There’s information about the things to come as well!

If you are looking for a non-intimidating way to read through the Bible, The New Testament For Everyone – A Fresh Translation by N. T. Wright may be worth considering! There are many practical things I like about this volume, including:

  • The packaging – the book comes inside a slipcover that makes it attractive for gift-giving.
  • The quality – the New Testament For Everyone is a compact, hardcover book that is comfortable to hold and inviting to read. The paper feels a little thicker than traditional Bibles (it’s not regular paper but it isn’t as fragile as some). The book is printed in green and black on white paper and is easy on the eyes, even though it is printed in a regular size font.
  • The focus – this Bible focuses on the text of the New Testament. It is not a Study Bible – it’s designed for reading – although there are some helpful aids, such as book introductions, easy-to-follow maps (especially throughout the Book of Acts), and a glossary of basic terms at the end of the book

New Testament For Everyone - Interior

But I’ll be honest. Whenever I see a Bible that reflects the ideas and translation views of a singular author, I’m always extra diligent to make sure that the translation itself is in alignment with traditional translations that I know and trust. I want any new translation of a Bible that I read to accurately reflect the original texts while illuminating any passages that may be challenging to understand in older translations.

I’m not looking for “creative” interpretations, especially on passages that convey key doctrinal concepts about God or other important issues.

John 1 verses 1-2 Translation Comparison

I was concerned about Wright’s translation of John 1:1-2. In the NKJV and other standard translations – the verse is translated as:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1-2 NKJV

However, Wright translates the passage as:

In the beginning was the Word. The Word was close beside God, and the Word was God. In the beginning, he was close to God. – John 1:1 NKJV

Now, honestly, I don’t know what Wright was thinking when he chose the phrases “The Word was close beside God” and “he was close to God”, but in my spirit, it feels like a subtle twist to the way we understand the deity of Jesus. The phrasing did not sit well with me.

Because that is such a vital passage (it’s a key passage that the Jehovah Witnesses change in their Bible to detract from the deity of Jesus) – it put me on alert when reading through the rest of the translation.

New Testament For Everyone

In some places, the translation was fine and easily accessible to the average reader – but every now and then, Wright includes other “creative renditions” that made me uncomfortable.

So, in terms of recommendations, I would not recommend this translation for anyone who is new to the Bible or not thoroughly grounded in the Word.

And for those who are more mature and are looking for a fresh translation, I would say to feel free to read it and draw your own conclusions, but I would highly recommend that you read it with your tried and true translation besides you so that you can compare the two translations and draw your own conclusions.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.


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I received a copy of this product through the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. Although I’m a #BibleGatewayPartner, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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4 Responses to “The New Testament For Everyone – Bible Review”

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  1. Good for you to check out the translation. Another check is what text did the translator use? Often it isn’t really a translation; it is a paraphrase. As noted., it can chamge the original meaning and even challenge the orthodoxies of the faith by changing the original meaning. Thank you for this review.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for sharing Linda – what a great point about checking what translation the translator used to base their work on.
      You are right, this makes a huge difference in how we understand things.
      Paraphrases have their place for helping to illuminate a passage we are struggling to understand, but should never be our primary source because too much orthodoxy gets lost in the translation. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed my review! 🙂

  2. Sally Cox says:

    I appreciate your honest review, and totally agree with your feelings on how the author chose to phrase the first verses in John 1…I, too, am VERY picky when it comes to commentary and interpretation of the Bible!
    I’m looking forward to your next link party! Happy New Year!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback – I’m glad I’m not the only one to be uncomfortable with some of the “fresh liberties” taken.
      Look forward to seeing you at our next party.
      Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

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